Trying to afford to be a Stay at Home Mom
Here we are, over a year since I decided to become a stay at home Mother and about 5 months since I officially became a stay at home Mother. I want to say that it has been going great but I must admit that some days are full struggles. It is a lot of work to keep the children busy and occupied all day long. The housework and amount of stuff to do is overwhelming, which is totally crazy because I used to work full-time and do all the other stuff that I no longer have time to do. I don’t get it at all.
In order to become a stay at home Mom, we have had to make some changes, some changes are taking longer than others to get used to and to actually do, while other changes were very simple to make.
- Trying to distinguish a want from a need. This has been incredibly hard for me, I mean really my children need a lot. I have been working hard to move towards a more simplistic approach to life and “stuff” but I have got to say it is hard. Working on this!
- Lowering monthly costs, simple enough to do. I called around and got better deals on our cable, phone, internet, insurance, etc. I am all for the stay at home mom gig, but I am not sure I am ready to sacrifice the cable yet.
- Making a monthly budget and STICKING TO IT!. I can make one no mean budget but I have a hard, very hard time trying to follow it. Also working on this.
- Power Savings. Anyone who lives in Nova Scotia, Canada knows that the power rates are way too high and anything that can be down to conserve power must be done. To help lower our monthly bill we use the dryer very little, if at all, everything can be line dried. I unplug appliances when not in use; I use a power bar for the entertainment stuff and switch it off when not in use. I use as little electricity as possible, lights are left off unless they are absolutely needed. I used to keep the house heated at 17 or 18 degrees when I heated with electric heat.
- I use as many reusable products as I can, such as cloth diapers, unpaper towels, and plastic containers. I am always on the lookout for other items that can be reused.
- Driving Less, Using Less Gas. This is hard to do. My children play sports and have activities all over the place. Trying to make less trips….
- When the children need something I try to always buy second hand first. Or if I know they will need it in the next season, I buy it during the off season when it is on clearance.
- Gift Giving. This is a whole different blog post that will be coming up in the future.
- Meal Planning. I try, and I mean I really try to plan my meals, then go to the grocery store and buy what is on the list. But every time I fail miserably and end up blowing the grocery list and budget out of proportion. I try to do this again and again each week, one of these weeks I will get right and be successful. I am just not sure when that will be.
- Homemade. If I can make it (or if my Mother can), then we have it homemade. I have been phasing store bought items out of our home for a while, such as breads, cookies, canned soups, basically anything that I can make myself. This is a huge time commitment on my part but I am trying to make it work and I will make it work. It concerns me sometimes about how long a loaf of bread can sit on a store shelf before it goes bad.
- Growing our own food. I think that speaks for itself, we are planting a huge garden so we can have the vegetables/fruits and we are hoping to make jams, salsas, pasta sauce of our own
There are many changes that we are currently making and others that we will make in time. I am trying to not make a whole lot of changes at once because I will become overwhelmed and give up. But overtime I will get it right. That is one of the reasons I started this blog, was to take everyone along with me on my journey as I go back to the simplistic way of life. I hope it works!